BSc

Wildlife Conservation

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In an era of unprecedented global change, the need to conserve biodiversity has come to the forefront of both research and policy. Global biodiversity is facing a range of emerging threats, including climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation, and the introduction of invasive species. The BSc Wildlife Conservation degree at Aberystwyth University will equip you with an intimate understanding of the ecological concepts that underpin the conservation of flora, fauna and habitats on both local and global scales. 

Course Overview

BSc Wildlife Conservation will interest those wishing to take a holistic approach that covers all aspects of wildlife conservation, exploring background scientific knowledge and ecological concepts applied to the conservation of endangered flora, fauna and habitats.  

You will learn about the ecological and evolutionary processes that have shaped key habitats, and the interactions between these habitats and the wildlife they support. You will also explore the political, financial and social forces that underlie wildlife conservation and environmental management. You will recognise the importance of conserving biodiversity at a range of scales, from genetic diversity to entire biomes, and will develop the academic knowledge and practical skills to contribute to these priorities in your professional career. 

Aberystwyth’s array of interesting and important habitats, including marine, moorland, mountain, grassland and coast, provides the ideal natural classroom for the teaching of practical skills. As a student you will enjoy the unrivalled wildlife and countryside, with opportunities to view common and rare UK animal species such as bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic grey seals, pine martens, otters, ospreys and red kites.  

Aberystwyth is a stone’s throw away from many internationally recognised habitats, including UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere, two RAMSAR wetlands, two marine special areas of conservation, two National Nature reserves, and several sites of special scientific interest to name but a few, providing you with fabulous fieldwork and recreational opportunities.  

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff in the Department of Life Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry. The Department has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.

Modules September start - 2023

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Climate and Climate Change BR16620 20
Ecology BR13510 10
Evolution and the Diversity of Life BR14310 10
Introduction to Conservation BR10110 10
Introduction to Palaeobiology BR16510 10
Study and Communication Skills BR12410 10
The Development and Management of British Habitats BR10810 10
The Green Planet BR13610 10
Wildlife Forensics BR15720 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Biological Thought and Discovery BR12510 10
Comparative Animal Physiology BR14110 10

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
An Introduction to Landscape Ecology and Geographic Information Systems BR25520 20
Marine Biology BR22620 20
Wildlife Management BR27220 20
Research Methods BR27520 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Animal Behaviour BR21620 20
Applied Aquatic Conservation BR26220 20
Climate Change: Plants, Animals and Ecosystems BR21120 20
Ecological Surveying BR21420 20
Freshwater Biology BR22020 20
Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Conservation BR24020 20
Tropical Zoology Field Course BR23820 20

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Global Biodiversity Conservation BR33420 20
Research Project BR36440 40
Wildlife Conservation BR34520 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Animal Behaviour Field Course BR34920 20
Anthropogenic threats to the Biosphere BR36720 20
Conservation Genetics and Evolution Field Course BR36220 20
Environmental Regulation and Consultancy BR35620 20
Population and Community Ecology BR33920 20
Terrestrial Ecology Fieldcourse BR36620 20
The Agri-Environment BR30420 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Careers

Graduates of this degree benefit from both the scientific and policy aspects that underlie wildlife conservation and will be well placed to pursue career opportunities in conservation biology and environmental management within the UK and abroad. Employers may include Natural Resources Wales, Wildlife Trusts, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, RSPB, National Trust, Environment Agency, Local authority departments and NGOs. In addition, you may opt to pursue careers in allied fields such as environmental education, or to undertake postgraduate study at Masters or PhD level. 

What work experience opportunities are available to me while I study?    

Find out about the various opportunities that our Careers Service offers.  

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and our Year in Employment Scheme.   

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn? 

In the first year you will explore the amazing diversity of life on Earth through theoretical and practical classes. You will be introduced to the evolution, biodiversity, physiology and human exploitation of the land flora, and gain an appreciation of the major environmental processes on earth that have influenced past and present biota. You will discover practical approaches to conserving species, habitats and ecosystems, and learn of the science underpinning climate and climate change. You will look at ecology and plant biology and consider future challenges such as responding to global climate and conserving biodiversity. Throughout the course you will develop your practical skills and confidence in scientific data collection and analysis. 

In the second year you will learn the ecological principles underpinning species conservation and will gain the practical skills required by today’s professional conservation practitioner. You will receive a thorough grounding in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to investigate spatial distribution patterns of habitats and understand their ecological implications. You will also learn about marine ecosystems and ecology. A range of optional modules allows you to broaden your understanding of conservation and natural environments, and to undertake fieldwork in tropical settings overseas. 

In the final year you will gain a deeper scientific knowledge of the conservation of endangered flora and fauna in terrestrial and aquatic habitats. You will examine rates of biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation and their ecological implications and will look at options for reducing that loss. A compulsory research project will allow you to perform in-depth research under the guidance of a supervisor. Your project may be based on laboratory experiments or fieldwork exercises, comprise a computer modelling exercise or involve data analysis.  

How will I be taught? 

You will be taught in the format of lectures and seminars, tutorials, case studies, laboratory practicals and fieldwork for research purposes. 

Assessment  

You will be assessed through essays, exams, presentations, wikis, portfolios, reports, practical exercises, e-media and conservation management plans. 

Personal Tutor   

You will be assigned a personal tutor who will be your main contact throughout the duration of your studies. Your personal tutor can help you to settle in when you first arrive and will be available to help you with academic or personal matters.  

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 104

A Levels BBB-BCC with B in Biology

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh and Mathematics

BTEC National Diploma:
DDD-DDM in a specified subject

International Baccalaureate:
30-28 with 5 points in Biology at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall with 7 in Biology

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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